RESILIENT HEALTH SECTOR

Reducing Risks from Vector-Borne Diseases

 

Climate change is expected to increase the incidence of vector borne diseases such as dengue, zika, chikungunya, malaria and leptospirosis. Therefore, it is imperative that a strong and comprehensive vector monitoring and control program be implemented.

 

Activities:

  • Promote early detection and effective monitoring of vector borne diseases.

  • Reduce infested levels of mosquito and rodent vectors and levels of contact with people in order to reduce risk of transmission, especially to those of higher risk, through a comprehensive, sustained vector management program.

  • Strengthen public education and behaviour change programs on vector borne diseases.

  • Promote vector management to both locals and visitors, with a focus on community and public/private partnerships to encourage and sustain behaviour change.

More Resilient Health Infrastructure

 

Activities:

  • Improve the structural integrity of all health centres and hospitals so that they are better able to withstand the impacts of extreme weather events.

  • Where necessary, relocate any health care facilities that are in a high-risk area to less vulnerable locations.

  • Ensure that all health care facilities have alternative supplies of energy and adequate water storage to allow them to function effectively in the event of an interruption in the supply of water and electricity during and after an extreme weather event.

  • Construct facilities at hospitals to allow critical staff members to live on site should the need arise during and immediately after a natural disaster.

  • Review the organizational structure and functions of the Ministry of Health to ensure that it is capable of addressing and responding to the myriad impacts of climate change on health.

  • Develop emergency protocols and provide training for staff at medical facilities so that everyone is clear on their respective roles during and after a natural disaster.

  • Incorporate health care considerations in land use planning and community design, given the key role that community design can play in reducing infectious and chronic disease issues.

Strengthened Community Health Services

Activities:

  • Increase the number of persons in each community with psychological first aid and psychosocial support skills.

  • Improve health education services at the community level to help in building resilience to climate-related health risks, including mental illness.

  • Develop culturally sensitive community-based health interventions.

  • Strengthen primary healthcare services, with a focus on prevention.

  • Improve food security at the community and national levels to reduce potential for under and malnutrition.

  • Establish an official drug use and treatment centres aimed at reducing drug and alcohol abuse.

  • Engage with civil society organizations and community-based organizations that have direct links with vulnerable groups to gain a better insight into the health issues confronting these groups and be better able to design appropriate interventions for them.

  • Maintain an active database of all community-based organizations and faith-based organizations that provide health care and social support to vulnerable persons.

Continuity of Chronic Care After a Natural Disaster

 

Activities:

  • Train shelter managers on risks, preparation and response protocols for vulnerable communities with hypertension, diabetes and other NonCommunicable Diseases (NCDs).

  • Ensure that a register is kept in the respective community health centres and shared with shelter managers of all vulnerable persons, particularly the elderly, persons with disabilities and homeless persons.

  • Identify all the members of the community who rely on essential medication or specialized care for diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease, and ensure that this information is shared with the respective shelter managers.

  • Install solar-photovoltaic power in all shelters to ensure a continuous supply of electricity to keep medical supplies refrigerated during and after a storm.

  • Ensure dialysis centres are served by back-up power generation to allow for continuity of dialysis treatment for persons with kidney disease.

  • Stock up on essential medical supplies, food and drinking water at health care facilities prior to the passage of a storm to ensure these are available in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster.